I realize that these are open heel fins, but with the bungee straps, would boots really be necessary? If so, do you have any recommendations for open heel fins that wouldn't necessarily require boots? I rented a pair of open heel fins on the last dive I went on that had bungee straps, didn't wear boots, and they felt fine.
Really depends on how "robust" your skin is. I would not want to wear these for a prolonged time without some form of ankle/heel protection.
I have tried several fins and got these as they are a lot lighter than my scuba max Mach ii fins. Wasn't sure how I would like then but fell in love with em on my first trip with them.
I would not recommend wearing these without boots as they are pretty stiff.
Personally, while I found the bungee straps a great improvement over the previous straps particularly getting the fins off, I don't think they play much of a role in determining whether boots would be required. I would not dive open healed fins without boots unless for some reason I had to. The boots protect the feet from wear and tear occasioned by the fins as well as injury resulting from shore diving when entering the water prior to putting on the fins.
I would highly recommend you to wear boots, from my own experience. I already used open heel fins without boots, but they didn't have bungee straps. Anyway, the first two dives were ok, but the other two were painful! I got so many blisters that I decided I should buy at least a pair of socks. The bungee strap is actually a spring, some of them covered by a soft rubber and a small pad, and it must be tight enough to the ankle not to slip from your feet when diving, so the prolonged use on your unprotected foot may develop some injuries, like blisters. The boots have so many other advantages, that I dare to say that you should not buy open heel fins if you are not planning to buy a pair of boots together.
I always use boots with my fins just because they provide a more secure fit for me!
It would be personal preference if you don't want to use boots.
I ordered the fins for my size foot as recommended by the online help Leisure Pro provided: although I told them that I wanted to wear booties so they took that into consideration. The bungees don't fit as tight as I would prefer but they were fine and didn't come undone or anything.
In my opinion they appear to be made for booties or socks but I don't know how big your feet are or how they are shaped. The fin appears a little boxy and not totally anatomically foot shaped if that makes any sense. I would talk to the online people and tell them you do not want to wear booties or socks and see if a smaller size would be okay. You will like the fins. they are fast but do take some getting used to as they do take some work to make you go fast when first starting out, but once you've been wearing them for a little while they are fine. They are maneuverable and can get you deep in a hurry.
Other than that I can't help you too much but they can. Leisure Pro's online people are great so go for it.
Mares Avanti Quattro-Plus Open Heel Fin are meant to be worn with boots. I would take a look at Aqualung Hotshot Open Heel Fins UDRFHS or Akona Caicos Fins AKNFC.
Personally, I hate to have anything rub on my heels/back of my feet as I don't want blisters. Maybe you could get away with out booties, but don't it would feel comfortable. Some of the divemasters I've been with wear open heel Mares made for your feet to slip into. Good luck.
This is the first pair of open heel fins I have every purchased, so I can't really vouch for other models, but I do know that these particular fins have little "teeth" (if you will) on the inside of the heel strap to keep a secure fit on your boots. To be honest, open heel fins are meant to be worn with boots, whereas the full foot fins generally have a more snug fit and you can play around with different foot pockets to find one that really fits your particular foot well.
If you're only going to be warm water diving, it wouldn't really make any different whether or not you used open heel or full foot fins. However, over here in NJ, we do all of our training dives at Dutch Springs, PA. I can attest from personal experience... it gets COLD. You would never catch me anywhere near that place without 7mm booties.
All in all, it's really your choice, my friend. I wore these fins in the Caribbean on an internship once or twice without boots, and I definitely noticed a big difference in power output. Your foot simply won't fit as snugly within the open heel pocket.
Hope this helps, and if you have any other questions feel free to ask!